Publication Date

Spring 1995


For Finns, the sixth of December is a day to celebrate. Along with the frolicking, frivolities, and the fireworks, the beer and vodka flow, celebrating the most magnificent event in Finnish history. On that day in the monumental year of 1917, Czarist Russia, fat from hundreds of years of imperialist expansion but reeling from military defeat and internal chaos, witnessed one comer of its crumbling empire do the unthinkable--declare independence. Although it was widely known that under the nominal rule of the Czar, the Finns had quite a bit of independence both economically and politically, it had been some 600 years since they had enjoyed complete freedom from any form of foreign domination. So at the end of the month, political chaos at home forced a beleaguered Vladimir Ilyich Lenin to sign the document that guaranteed the sovereignty of the newly formed Republic of Finland.



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